New Zealand's Kim Crawford Wines may be best known for its sterling Marlborough sauvignon blanc, but the winery began with an unoaked chardonnay. The 2011 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay (about $19 at supermarkets, some big box stores and wine shops) is a lovely example of how well the winery succeeds in its mission to make a chard that delivers "true expression of the fruit." No vanilla or oak hide the grape's character in this wine.
This chard offers a delicate nose of light white peach and a hint of citrus. On the tongue it explodes with lush but clean white peach, subtle lime and a touch of crisp green apple. Its ultra-clean citrusy finish is a pure marvel.
This crisply luscious chard will go beautifully with just about any seafood you can think of, especially sashimi, scallops, lobster and shrimp, and will be just as dreamy with a summery goat cheese salad. It also drinks companionably on its own or wakes up the palate as an aperitif.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.